Post 5 – I could just dye!

Today I am going to try my hand at a comprehensive refashion, meaning I am actually going to provide pictures of the process, not just before and after.

This was another Goodwill dress that I got for $7. I was drawn to the button front and circle skirt, lots of possibilities for this one.

Pink - before pocket Pink - before circle skirt

Yes, those are boob pockets. Not breast pockets, that would insinuate that they are purposeful and functional. These are just…there. “Pardon me a second while I reach down the front of my dress for my wallet.” Odd.  This might have been a ‘happy accident’ feature included when they added a second layer of material to prevent the chest area from being so transparent. Good to have, but the rest of the dress is still somewhat see-through, as evidenced in the 2nd picture.  Those are my legs showing through, I am not wearing dark leggings. Yikes!

To address this transparency issue, I decided to give dyeing a shot! First attempt ever! I know, I was a little scared too.  I decided to go the sink route with dyeing.

Pink - turning purple

Ooooh, purple-y!

I was VERY careful with the whole process, as dye can not only stain your hands, but counter tops and anything else it touches. Miraculously, I have no purple spots to account for when I eventually move out of my apartment! *high fives self*

So, how did it turn out?

Pink to purple - dress form

Purple! I was hoping for a bit darker, but it’s a fun grape-lilac purple that’s totally wearable. It also came out evenly colored, as I was not a slouch with the 30 minutes of “constant stirring” that RIT required of me.  This is the dress inside out on my dress form. I have not yet named my dress form, but will be doing so as soon as I come up with something clever enough. I am pretty proud of my blog name, so I am going to have to bring that same creativity to giving this girl a permanent moniker.

Next step, pinning:

Pink to purple - pinning

Since this dress fit fine in the waist and I wanted to keep the volume of the skirt, I just pinned the arms and armpit areas to take in, as they were a bit wing-like. Notice how the thread did not take the dye? It is likely made of a synthetic material, which does not dye well, if at all. This was actually advantageous for me, since I had white thread, but not purple. No trip to Joann’s for me!

Time for sewing!

Pink to purple - stitching

This is a 1/2″ hem on the bottom of the skirt. I neglected to get a photo of the removal of the length.

I had intended to make my sewing room a dog-free zone, but someone starts whining if I don’t hang out with her and head straight for sewing when I get home from work. So this happened:

Bailey bored

Dog moms are pushovers too.

I also decided I wanted to ’86’ the collar. It was a bit floppy and weird. However, that meant only a 1/4″ hem to the remaining collar in order to keep it looking sharp and intentional and not like I screwed something up.

Pink to purple - new collar 

Hey, that actually looks good! 

I’ve got a confession to make. I haven’t been pressing my hems before I sew them. I know…I know…ironing is for my own good and can keep those hems uniform. Apologies for being a lazy bum, don’t be like me. However, on this dress, once I finished with my stitch-em-up, the whole thing needed a once over with the iron. Then something crazy happened:

Pink to purple - iron Pink to purple - hypercolor Do you see it?! 

Where the iron touched, it turned bright pink!!! “Shit.” – My initial reaction. My second reaction was to just do a really good job of ironing every nook and cranny to get the whole thing fuchsia, but then it cooled and changed back to purple!   Whaaaaaa?!

Reminded me of a little fashion trend from the past. Anyone remember these?:

  Oh yeah, I had one. Sadly, I don’t think I have any pictures wearing it. I imagine if I did, it’d be a very embarrassing photo.

I have no idea how or why I now own a hypercolor-like dress, but I’m not mad about it. 100% cotton dress, RIT dye, nothing out of the ordinary. I know what you are thinking, and no I can’t make you or your 6th grader cousin one….cause I know you are both into it. 😉  It actually doesn’t change color with hands or breath, just irons and hair dryers.

So how’d it all come together?

Pink to purple - after from side Pink to purple - after front pocket

Pretty well, I’d say! No longer showing shadows of my undies, but still rocking those boob pockets!  I really like circle skirts, but something about the length and weight of the fabric can leave me looking like I have a rather large posterior. Luckily, shortening the skirt kept all of the flounce with none of the butt!  I was also really glad that the belt was fabric covered, because it dyed identically to the dress.

Added leggings, boots, coat and hat (still Winter) and headed off to work.

Pink to purple - after with hat

No, I don’t match my make-up to my outfits. It’s just a coincidence.


Final comparison:

Pink to purple - comparison

Have a great day everyone!

Update 4/25/16: Professional photos really show how pretty this purple turned out. I still get lots of compliments when I wear it!


5 thoughts on “Post 5 – I could just dye!”

    1. Sort of. I mean, I did some sewing through 4H when I was in elementary school, but almost nothing since then. If I fully constructed a dress (from fabric and a pattern), I am not sure how it would turn out, but I’ll give it a shot one day soon.

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